Schloss Miller Aichholz

Host Leadership


7-9 June 2021 - Vienna, Austria

I want to join

The Brea(d)th of Hosting


Please share this event:

Let’s gather together

We would be delighted to welcome you to the Host Leadership Gathering 2021 in Vienna, Austria. Together, we will have three days full of inspiration, co-creation, learning, acting, observing and reflecting about the brea(d)th, impact and meaning of Hosting and Host Leadership in your working environments.

“I am very much looking forward to the Host Leadership Gathering where I will no doubt resonate with others attending to grow my knowledge and practice of host leadership, which very much aligns to my own values. Being able to share my skill set with fellow participants in a workshop, will hopefully allow them to enhance their negotiation skills and slow down time in an ever pressured world, driven by targets. I know the Gathering will be hugely beneficial for all that attend.”

Host Leadership – briefly explained

Hosting is an ancient yet modern art to build relationships with others. The act of inviting someone, of welcoming them, of responding to their needs whilst taking responsibility for their safety offers a frame through which many dimensions of leadership can be viewed.

Think of yourself as a host, and the others involved as your guests. Imagine, how this idea will change behaviour.

One of the most important aspects of leading as a host is the art of stepping forward – and then stepping back. People expect leaders to step forward – after all, that is how they get attention, get their message across, begin to engage with people. Good hosts know, however, that it is equally important to step back, to allow space for others to engage, for people to connect, for multiple conversations to develop. When good leaders step back, they are not simply vanishing from the scene. They are alert, aware, looking around, talking to different groups, seeing how things are going. That is how they know when to step forward again, and in which role.

In Host Leadership, we talk about roles (instead of rules). A role is something you take on when needed and hosts change roles often, depending on the circumstances. The six roles are: Initiator – getting things moving, Inviter – involving others, Space Creator – building the context for interaction, Gatekeeper – negotiating the boundaries, Connector – link people and expertise together and, of course, Co-Participator – leading AND joining in.

Learn more about Host Leadership at and in brief through this article Lead as a Host not a Hero – Leadership that Builds Engagement and Performance by Mark McKergow.

Please share this event:

What will happen at the Gathering

On the first day, we plan a creative dive into the host model with its six roles, four positions and two movements. Mark McKergow, Rolf Katzenberger, Veronika Kotrba and Ralph Miarka will accompany you through this day.

Day two is all about sharing practice reports and inspiration. We are looking forward to great short talks and workshops from people who use the host model in their daily lives and talk about their experiences and approaches. If you are willing to contribute actively, we invite your ideas.

If you wish, we enjoy the second evening of the gathering together. The dinner takes place at your own expense to keep the ticket price low, and we are happy to organise a nice restaurant for all of us who want to join.

On the third day, we provide the castle, the park and a lot of materials so that you can discuss, create and talk about your personal fields of application and ideas with the other participants. We are already looking forward to this colourful and lively Open Space day.

Be our guest in the beautiful Miller-Aichholz Palace in Vienna from June 7th-9th, 2021.

Be part of it

We would be more than happy to welcome you to this event. Nobody else has your experiences, your ideas, your visions and your questions that can enrich us all so much. Let’s take an important step together towards “cooperative leadership” and establish the idea of hosting and being a guest in the world of work. Miller-Aichholz Castle has room for you and another 79 great guests. And we can hardly wait to look at the future of cooperation anew in this wonderful historical ambience.

Confirmed Sessions

09:00 - 16:30

Introduction to Host Leadership

In this workshop-style session you can learn about host leadership and experience hosting as well.

We will give our best to create an inviting learning environment and to support you to connect with the topic as well as with the other participants.

Learning objectives:

  • The participants know about hosting and host leadership.
  • Experiences participants experience a new style to deliver the topic.

Dr. Ralph Miarka Dr. Ralph Miarka
Veronika Kotrba, MC Veronika Kotrba, MC
Rolf Katzenberger Rolf Katzenberger
Dr. Mark McKergow Dr. Mark McKergow
09:00 - 09:30

Welcome and connect

09:30 - 09:45

Space creation: Introduction to the Workshops

00:00 - 00:00

Inspiring authentically – how to switch between roles without losing your mind

Have you ever had a gut feeling to not trust somebody who was trying to step into a leader`s role? Or has it even happened to you that you, as a leader, failed to inspire or motivate others even if you technically did everything right?

Switching between multiple roles can be confusing to our environment and to ourselves if we don`t come across as authentic. In this session, we will explore some mental and physical techniques that help us switch roles with confidence and clarity. We will learn simple exercises to stay centred so we can «change our hats» mindfully whilst keeping our personal integrity. We will also explore how to work with our own emotions so they don`t cloud our authenticity as leaders.

Learning outcomes

In short: there should be less confusion. Attendees will be able to stay centred during role switches, remain authentic and whole even when they have to put on a different hat for a new setting. They should feel more in control and confident as they mindfully step into the form of leadership that a situation requires.

Gerlinde Wernegger Gerlinde Wernegger
00:00 - 00:00

Host Leading and Zones of Interculturality: Noticing Connections and Developing Common Ground

A curious connection has grabbed my attention in the Intercultural and the Host Leadership strands of my work. The idea of shared ground between the two - conceptual and practice-oriented – has come about as an outcome of my current work with “globe-trotting” senior executives from global and transnational companies with branches in Bulgaria.

I have noticed that no matter what direction our conversations take within the intercultural coaching programmes these executives enrol in, we inevitably arrive at issues concerning their performance as leaders in the novel multicultural contexts they find themselves in. They want to engage with the sensitivities of the people on their teams and draw them in, in culturally appropriate ways. But looking into the huge geopolitical divides, e.g. East-West, or delving into the big-scale cultural dimensions theories that are part of the more traditional cross-cultural training agenda is not exactly what they want to do Rather, they are keen to develop and amplify spaces whereby, with their team(s), they can act and build things together.

And where exactly is the point where we can jointly employ ideas from Host leadership and Zones of Interculturality. Host leading is about building relationships – at work, in the community, in society, at home – to engage with others. Equally, engagement with people is a key ingredient in intercultural interactions. Another common thread is a shared emphasis on the dynamics of performance. Stepping into and out of the six host leading roles and dealing one’s identity cards in zones of interculturality both manifest themselves as work ceaselessly in progress.

Helping people see these connections and thus develop their intercultural and host leading performance conjunctively is, therefore, worth a try.

In this session, we explore some of the commonalities between Host Leadership and Zones of Interculturality. No doubt we can coach and train our clients without having to untangle any of these connections. We can achieve results by merely introducing the two steps, four positions and six roles model of Host Leadership and/or mechanistically follow the prescribed path of the “Living and working abroad” programmes. However, I trust that establishing a common philosophical ground between Host Leadership and Zones of Interculturality is an opportunity to construct a firmer foundation for our practice to the benefit of everybody concerned.

Leah Davcheva Leah Davcheva
10:45 - 11:15

Morning Break

00:00 - 00:00

How can I use the ''Users guide to the future''

The “User`s guide to the future” is a powerful model developed by Mark McKergow for Solution-Focused and hosting working with the future. In our session, we will explain the model and demonstrate in live coaching how clients find signs of progress facing challenging and complex projects.

Learning outcomes:

After the session, SF practitioners will be able to work with the model in coaching or team coaching situations. They can support clients in stuck and tough situations by focusing strongly on signs of progress. Leaders will have some fresh ideas on how to plan and steer complex projects in an SF (and very agile) way - together with their team. In a stance of Host Leadership, they will be able to better accept uncertainty. One participant will have the chance to be supported in a challenging situation by a coach and find tiny signs of progress to take home with.

Dr. Peter Röhrig Dr. Peter Röhrig
Dr. Mark McKergow Dr. Mark McKergow
12:45 - 14:00

Lunch Break

14:00 - 14:30

After-Lunch Connect

00:00 - 00:00

Feeling the Host

Describing Host Leadership is a good way to learn it. Feeling it is an even better one: in this workshop, we will explore different ways of being a Host by using systemic structural constellations to simulate possible scenarios. You will learn good and bad ways of being a Host by feeling them in your body!Learning Outcomes:The participants will own a richer way to discuss and teach about Host Leadership as well as new tools to coach leaders.

Pierluigi Pugliese Pierluigi Pugliese
00:00 - 00:00

How to slow down time: making space when you’re in a tight spot.

Host Leadership helps us combat the time-bound and pressure-driven world of KPI’s, where stress, social media and the unrelenting pace of chasing targets means that our focus on our own agenda drives our inability to effectively listen to others. Adhering to the traditional questioning method of gaining information can often let others feel like they are being interrogated to provide information and naturally leads to creating barriers in conversation. In this session, you are going to learn how to de-construct negotiations and hone your skills in facilitating that tactical negotiation to achieve that win-win result.

The creation of the Behavioural Change Staircase by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the early 1970s paved the way for law enforcement negotiators to effectively de-escalate and negotiate with others in crisis to bring about a peaceful conclusion to a critical event. Based on social science and practitioner experience this model of engagement has many parallels with the framework upon which Host Leadership was created. Importantly, both approaches are effective in creating space, building trust and in achieving resolution for both parties.

As children in the formation of our speech and understanding of the language, we actively listen, picking up on keywords and phrases that our parents use. Remember how we tell that bedtime story to our children; we use our voice to ‘paint the picture’ and take them on that journey of discovery. It is not what we say, but how we say it. However, as we enter adolescence we are distracted by social media, external and internal pressures that often impact on our ability to listen effectively.

By initiating dialogue, we can skillfully use the seven techniques in active listening to create space for others to open up and disclose emotions, feelings and information. Our own life experience can be a very effective tool in being empathic towards others and it is this combined with active listening that allows us to make that vital connection that builds the foundation for trust.

Emotions play a significant part in our decision-making and it is our ability in dialogue not only to control our own emotions but to recognise the emotions of the person or group with whom we are engaging. When emotions run high or low our effectiveness in negotiations is diminished as those respective emotional states do not create the space for rational conversation. So, recognising the optimum emotional balance helps us to create the right environment to make that connection.

Creating space through active listening and empathy, we naturally begin to build rapport, when the dialogue flows with ease and we discover the deeper issues. In doing so, the temptation is to problem solve for the other person, but like Host Leadership, that is not our goal. By solving the problem for the other person(s) we only provide a solution, but they have no ownership of it and therefore are less likely to implement it. Our objective is to help guide the person(s) to their own problem-solving solution; we only encourage the thinking and dialogue.

In this rapport stage that we can begin to use the power of influence and persuasion; a subject that has been studied since ancient times where Aristotle defined his three pillars of persuasion as Ethos, Pathos and Logos. Often it is at this stage that we become impatient for change and start talking too much, but the power of suggestibility is a seed that is sometimes best left to germinate in the mind of others until it bears fruit.

The science behind influence is not surprisingly underpinned by active listening and it is how we use the principles defined by Robert Cialdini of reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity to influence others. Often at this moment, when we can see the goal, that we allow pressure to build that then spirals us into not listening as we become focused on our own agenda.

A blend of Host Leadership and tactics used from the crisis negotiation world can effectively buy us time to consider best options and to make the best decisions; ones that are underpinned by knowledge, information and that connection with the other person(s). Not succumbing to the pressures of demand with an assigned deadline, allow us to calmly deal with the pressure of the situation as we act as our own gatekeeper to our decision-making.

As we move towards behavioural change, we recognise that we need to keep that connection strong through active listening, empathy and rapport as we start to see the effect of our influence and persuasion. We are a co-participator at this point as we guide the person(s) to a mutually agreeable solution that works for all and in this, we keep going until we have observed the fruits of our negotiation.

Participants will learn the theory and tactics behind high-pressure negotiations and through immersive exercises how to buy time for improved decision-making that leads to a win-win result.

Learning outcomes:

Aimed at those who wish to build an in-depth knowledge of effective negotiation techniques that help in the everyday working environment, by teaching participants the following skills:

  • Negotiator Attributes – learning techniques to control your emotions and deal with egos to create the optimum environment for negotiations
  • Psychological, Cultural & Generational Aspects of Negotiation – using a range of tactics that help you navigate different personality types, cultural and generational nuances
  • Active Listening – the stealth weapon of effective negotiation
  • Empathy & Rapport – listening to understand the key issues to build that connection and develop great rapport
  • Persuasion & Influence – using an effective blend of science and practitioner experience to fully utilise the power of suggestibility and the dynamics of compliance in influencing others towards your goal
  • Behavioural Change – understanding the model, slowing downtime to reduce pressure and make more informed decisions in creating that win-win result Participants will engage in immersive exercises that allow them to demonstrate their skills, with coaching to hone technique. Ideal in teaching staff to facilitate that ‘difficult conversation’ to bring about positive change in the workplace by creating space and in skillfully negotiating with others to achieve a win-win result.

Andrew B Brown Andrew B Brown
09:00 - 16:30

Open Space

Special Invitation

If you come early and have time and interest on Sunday to spend another day with us, the sinnvollFÜHREN team invites you to visit the beautiful zoo Schönbrunn.

It was founded by the Habsburgs in 1752 and is the oldest zoo in the world. In Anthony Sheridan’s zoo ranking, the zoo was named as the best European zoo five times in a row (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018).

We would get a guided tour there at 10am and of course also visit our “foster kids”, the rock penguins. The tour takes about 2 hours. Afterwards you can – as long as you want – have a free look around the Tiergarten all day long.

Come and join the Host Leadership Gathering

Vienna waits for you

We have four different ticket categories for the Host Leadership Gathering. Each ticket includes your 3-day participation in the entire event, as well as catering for lunch and breaks.

1. The Ambassador-Ticket: There are only 10 of those at 432 Euro each (+20% VAT) – and we ask you to book it if you are ready to promote the gathering actively together with us. You will be practically part of the team, and we will ask you from time to time to share and link news about the event that we post on social networks.

2. The Early Supporter-Ticket: 20 of those are available at 454 Euro each (+20% VAT) – with your quick booking and payment, you will help us to organise the gathering well in advance. Thank you very much for your support.

3. The Participant-Ticket: we have prepared 50 of those at 475 Euro each (+20% VAT) – and we would be delighted if you would save yours for yourself right away.

4. The Student-Ticket: We want to support students attending the gathering by offering a reduced ticket price of 360 Euro each (+20% VAT). We require a valid student ID.

Regarding COVID-19

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the Host Leadership Gathering 2020 due to COVID-19. Now we are better prepared.

Naturally, we will try to provide the safest environment possible. We will comply with all government regulations. The venue is spacious, and it has a beautiful area outside, so we can do as much outdoors as possible, to keep the necessary distance. Also, we will provide hand disinfection and, if needed, mouth-nose-masks for the protection of others.

In the case of new restrictions in 2021, we will provide an online version of the gathering. Let’s hope that we won’t have to do it and we see all of you here in Vienna.
Stay well and safe!

Cancellation Policy

In times like these, you probably want to feel even safer about your investment. Everyone who asked for their money back so far received it as quickly as possible. And a big thank you, to all that kept their registration for 2021. In the case of COVID-restrictions or other plausible reasons, we will be as generous as possible with refunds. Please let us know as early as possible.

Host Leadership Gathering 2021

Starts On:
Monday June 07, 2021
Ends On:
Wednesday June 09, 2021
Ambassador Ticket
2places left
Early Supporter Ticket
12places left
Participant Ticket
40places left
Student Ticket
8places left

VAT-registered companies in the EU should apply for a VAT refund by their own country’s tax authority. Businesses outside the EU can apply for a VAT refund:

For more information on the EU law please refer to:

Article 53: The place of supply of services in respect of admission to cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar events, such as fairs and exhibitions, and of ancillary services related to the admission, supplied to a taxable person, shall be the place where those events actually take place. ▼M3 2006L0112 — EN — 01.01.2013 — 012.001 — 33


Europahaus Wien, Linzer Str. 429, 1140 Wien

The Miller-Aicholz Palace and the House of Europe are a magnificent venue for this gathering.

Please check out the possibilities on how to get there…

Partnering Hotel

Stay where the action is – directly at the Europahaus



Single Room rate: 68 EUR



Double room rate per Person: 49 EUR

Your Organising Team in Vienna

We are here to help you to make this a great gathering for all.

Veronika Kotrba, MC

Veronika Kotrba, MC

Irene Neumayer

Irene Neumayer

Sonja Römer

Sonja Römer

Dr. Ralph Miarka

Dr. Ralph Miarka

Sponsors and Supporters

We like to say “Thank you!” to our sponsors and supporters. Should you like to sponsor and support us as well, please contact us.


Sunny greetings from your sinnvollFÜHREN Team

Hosts of the “Host Leadership Gathering 2021”